Monday, February 25, 2008

Pretty convicted by a cartoon bunny

Samantha Morton is a serious actress. She's been nominated for piles of awards (Oscars, Emmys, BAFTAs, Golden Globes, Independent Spirits) and won many of them. This is especially notable since she is only 31.

We hate her.

Okay, we don't hate her. We love her with Christian love, of course, and with the sort of admiration one reserves for accomplished thespians. (And after reading her brief bio just now, the kind of admiration on reserves for people who have overcome exceptional adversity.)

But we don't tend to see those very serious rewarding movies around here.

We are familiar with Samantha Morton's work for the same reason most Americans are:

She's the most annoying cartoon voice on TV.

She's the voice of the big sister bunny on Ruby and Max. Ruby and Max is a lovely show and the dude loves it and I love practically everything about it - the incidental music, the wallpaper, the old-fashioned toys and their brand names (like the Little Earsplitter Ambulance). Max's expressions, and the way he sticks his paws out when he walks.

But Ruby - controlling, neat, purpose-driven Ruby - makes me crazy. I realize it's not just the voice, of course. The voice is plenty grating, but I think the crazy goes a little deeper.

Ruby always has some PROJECT going on. Something she needs to do - practice for a recital, make a poster for a BunnyScouts event, hustle little Max off to someplace to do something or other that he isn't particularly interested in doing.

Max, on the other hand, lives in the moment, pretty beautifully. He's fully alive, playing in a mud puddle or catching fireflies.

He's Ian, catching fireflies in the discarded bottle. And I'm Ruby, pushing the bottle aside,checking my watch, frog-marching him on so we can go somewhere and do something.

YES OF COURSE there are things we need to do. I don't feel at all bad about the hustling, even the frog-marching, involved in a pediatrician visit or even getting to the babysitters on time. I have no shame about wrestling him into his coat (oh, will it really be spring someday?)for a timely run to the dry cleaner, or overpowering his wriggling butt into a grocery cart.

But sometimes, I just need to sit down on the curb and leave him in the mud puddle for a while.

1 comment:

Rev. April said...

sounds like some version of martha and mary... :)

i LOVED the max and ruby books. i cant find them anywhere anymore, but when i worked in a kids library in high school (around the 1995-97 mark) my coworker and i used to hoarde them into the back room and laugh our asses off over them. max rules. he is the bomb.

i've never seen the tv show, but i have this suspicion that somehow it is responsible for the disappearance of the books. i cant even find them in the columbia library.